Pair of great white sharks spotted interacting off the coast of Cape Cod for the first time in amazing drone footage
- The footage was captured off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts this week
- Researchers say it’s the first great white shark interaction seen in that area
- Experts say the interaction could be act of aggression, or a mating encounter
A remarkable drone video captured off the coast of Cape Cod has caught the first-ever look at a pair of great white sharks interacting in the region.
Researchers with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shared the footage on Twitter this week, revealing the moment the two huge predators appear to square off in the ocean.
While the exact nature of the encounter is still unclear, experts say it’s not uncommon for these sharks to attack each other when they cross paths.
Experts say the interaction could be an act of aggression between rivals, or could even be a mating encounter
In the video shared by AWSC, one shark can be seen swimming alone before another enters the frame.
The latter at first appears to approach cautiously, before speeding up to veer directly into the other.
It’s the first time two white sharks have been spotted interacting off the coast of Chatham, according to the researchers.
‘Our local shark science team is hoping to see the high res version to learn more about the interaction,’ the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy noted on Twitter.
The brief glimpse, however, does appear to line up with what’s known about great white shark behavior.
The interaction could be an act of aggression between rivals, or could even be a mating encounter.
‘Based on scarring patterns and wounds, we know that white sharks off Cape Cod frequently bite each other,’ said Gregory Skomal, Phd, Program Manager and Senior Scientist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.
A remarkable drone video captured off the coast of Cape Cod has caught the first-ever look at a pair of great white sharks interacting in the region
‘However, until this video was shot, we had never actually witnessed any kind of social interaction,’ Skomal added.
‘The video shows a smaller white shark approach and make contact with a larger white shark, which quickly left the area.
‘We are now examining the video more closely to determine if this was aggressive and/or defensive behavior or, perhaps, associated with mating.’
Great white sharks have been popping up off the coast of Cape Cod already in the first few weeks of summer, as scientists in the region work continually to tag and track their activity in hopes to better understand their behavior.
WHAT DOES THE GREAT WHITE SHARK’S DNA TELL US?
The genome of the great white shark has finally been decoded, and it may hold the key to discovering a cure for cancer.
The genome is far bigger than that of a human and contains a plethora of mutations that protect against cancer and other age-related diseases.
It contains an estimated 4.63 billion ‘base pairs’, the chemical units of DNA, making it one-and-a-half times bigger than its human counterpart.
Within the great white’s DNA is evidence of around 24,500 protein-encoding genes, compared with 19,000 to 20,000 in the average human.
Great white sharks, which measure up to 20 feet long (six metres) and weigh as much as three tonnes, are ancient giants that have been on Earth for at least 16 million years.
The animal’s genetic code also gives them enhanced wound healing which allows them to recover from severe ailments.
Experts believe the great white genome evolved to be stable and disease resistant and could be key in developing future treatments.